How To Swim In Animal Crossing: New Horizons Explained

Where to get the wetsuit, how to get in the water, tips on how to swim faster, and how to dive for sea creatures in New Horizons.

By Lonnie Rad on November 4, 2021 at 12:09PM PDT

The feature wasn’t in the game at launch, but you can now swim and dive in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. It isn’t that hard to do if you can follow a few simple steps. Here, we’ll walk you through where to get a wetsuit, how to swim and dive into the ocean, tips on swimming faster, and what to do with sea creatures. You’ll be a freestyle expert in no time.

How To Get A Wetsuit For Swimming

If you want to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the first thing you need to do is buy a wetsuit. To buy a wetsuit, head over to Nook’s Cranny. The wetsuit will be available to purchase in the cabinet where you usually buy tools, seeds, and wallpaper/flooring.

The wetsuit costs 3,000 bells. You can also purchase a wetsuit from your Nook Stop terminal for 3,000 bells. They come in new designs daily, so you can keep checking back if you don’t like what you end up with. Your Nook Stop also offers a Nook Inc. wetsuit for 800 miles.

Purchasing a wetsuit from Nook

Purchasing a wetsuit from Nook’s Cranny.

To equip the wetsuit, just select it in your inventory, press A, and select “Wear.” The wetsuit will be equipped directly over your clothes, so you don’t need to manually remove shirts or bottoms in order to wear it. Your shoes and any socks or tights may still be equipped though–you can still swim with them on, but if you want to take them off or swap them for something more beach-appropriate, you’ll have to do that manually.

Once your wetsuit is on, you’re ready to start swimming!

How To Swim

Once you purchase a wetsuit, Timmy and Tommy will give you a quick how-to on swimming, but if you skipped it on accident or don’t remember, we’ve run through the basics below.

How To Get In The Water

To swim, you need to head to one of your ocean’s beaches and get in the water first. There are two primary ways you can enter the ocean: wading in from the sandy beach, or diving in from either your beach rocks, that narrow strip of land that juts into the ocean, or your pier.

The first day of the summer update, and it

The first day of the summer update, and it’s raining on my island.

Either way, you’ll have to run up against the water and press A to enter the water. (You must have all tools unequipped.)

Swimming Controls

To keep swimming, press A. Each time you press A, you’ll do a stroke, but if you just hold A down, you’ll keep paddling. You can use the left stick to move around. If you don’t press anything, your character will just tread water. While treading, you can still use the analog stick to paddle lightly around, but you will move very slowly. Your character will never get tired of treading water, so don’t worry about floating around if you get tired of pressing A.

To swim fast, just keep tapping A while moving around in the water.

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To exit the water, you have to swim back to a sandy beach. Just swim right up to the beach until your character reaches land and can walk out of the water.

How To Dive

There’s no point in swimming in Animal Crossing: New Horizons if you don’t know how to dive.

To dive, just press Y while you’re in the water. Your character will dive under the waves, and from there, you can just use the usual swimming controls to move around–A to swim, joystick to move around. If you want to come back up to the surface, just hit Y again, but don’t worry–your character won’t run out of oxygen and will just come up for air when they need it, so you don’t have to time your dives.

How To Catch Sea Creatures

The new swimming and diving features are all about exploring the ocean around your island, which means there are new sea creatures to catch and rare treasure to find. All you need for this is your wetsuit–no net or any other tools required!

A column of bubbles in the water signals a potential discovery.

A column of bubbles in the water signals a potential discovery.

When you’re swimming around, you might notice columns of bubbles floating up from beneath the waves. If you swim directly over the bubbles and press Y, your character will dive under and, if you positioned yourself right, come back up with a sea creature, like a sea star or a sea anemone. You can also find new types of vegetation, like seaweed.

Another way to catch sea creatures is to dive underwater and look for little shadows. When you dive, the camera will tilt and give you a better view of what’s below you. Those bubble columns and shadows line up, so an easier way to find creatures is to dive under and swim towards the shadows. Your character will automatically collect whatever’s down there once you reach the shadow.

Diving under reveals a shadow, which makes it easier to locate and collect sea creatures.

Diving under reveals a shadow, which makes it easier to locate and collect sea creatures.

In addition to the new sea creatures you can gather up for your Critterpedia and the museum, you will also find scallops and pearls. You can use pearls to craft certain DIY recipes, including the new mermaid-themed set. Scallops can be traded in to Pascal, a red otter who you will run into on one of your swims, for DIY recipes.

What To Do With New Sea Creatures

If you check your Critterpedia, you’ll find there’s a brand new tab for “sea creatures.” Anything you find on one of your underwater excursions will end up in this section, even if–as Blathers later explains–it isn’t exactly a “creature.” Seaweed, sea grapes, and other ocean plant life will get categorized here too. Check out our full list of all 40 sea creatures added in the new summer update.

The new sea creatures tab in your Critterpedia. We

The new sea creatures tab in your Critterpedia. We’re still filling ours out!

Not only does the new swimming update mean new wildlife to log in your Critterpedia, but new things to donate to your museum as well. Blathers will gladly take any new sea creature or vegetation you find while diving as a donation to the museum.

You can also, as with any other wildlife find, place it as decoration. While most of what we’ve found so far will appear in a standard display tank, a few items like the seaweed have a unique placement style that you can use to decorate your island, so don’t forget to experiment!

Animal Crossing Swimming: How to swim, get a wetsuit and diving in New Horizons explained

Swimming allows you to explore the sea surrounding your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

After you’ve brought yourself a wetsuit, you can explore the ocean and even go diving.

Swimming and diving will allow you to start collecting the various sea creatures that live beneath the waves and you might even meet Pascal the otter.

Where to buy a wetsuit in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Before you can go swimming in New Horizons, you need to buy a wetsuit.

To do this head down to your local Nook’s Cranny and look inside the cabinet. There you’ll find a wetsuit selling for 3,000 Bells.

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You can also purchase a special Nook range wetsuit by visiting the Nook Stop in Residential Services and choosing the option ‘Redeem Nook Miles.’

The black and turquoise wet suit will set you back 800 Nook Miles and, like all over Nook clothing, will arrive in the mail the day after you purchase it.

For an addition 500 Nook Miles you can also buy a Nook Inc. snorkel.

Once you’ve brought your swimming clothes of choice, it’s time to go swimming!

How to swim in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

After you’ve brought a wetsuit it’s time to explore the sea surrounding your island in New Horizons.

First, however, you need to put your wetsuit on, which is done exactly like how you change into every other clothing item. Simply find it in your inventory, select it and then choose the option – ‘Wear.’

There are other swimming themed clothing, such as the scuba mask, which you can wear while swimming. These items, however, won’t have an impact on your swimming or diving abilities.

Now that you’re all suited up, it’s time to head to the shore and get into the water.

You can either simply walk into the waves or dive bomb from one of the stony platforms dotted around your island by pressing A.

To swim you need to press A and then use the left analogue stick to decide which direction you wish to go in; simply decide which direction you want to go in and head that way.

How to dive in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Once you’re out in the waves, it’s time to experiment with diving.

In New Horizons, you can dive while swimming by pressing Y.

Doing this will allow you to disappear beneath the waves for a certain period of time and maybe even find a sea creature or two.

The Animal Crossing 2.0 update and Happy Home Paradise is here! We can help you with the new additions – including where to find Brewster, Gyroids, new villagers, ordinances, new fences, storage shed, new hairstyles, Froggy Chair, group stretching and Kapp’n boat tours. Cooking is now unlockable, so you need to know how to make both flour and sugar, as well as how to grow carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Meanwhile, if you’re new to Animal Crossing, our New Horizons tips can help with the basics. From the off, there’s fish and bugs to catch, flowers and fruit to grow with. One long term goal is building your Happy Home Academy score. Finally, you need tools such as the new ladder and vaulting pole to fully explore.

Why you should swim and dive in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Aside from a relaxing way to spend a lazy afternoon, there are a couple of excellent reasons why you should spend some time swimming in New Horizons.

The first is that diving will allow you to collect the various sea creatures that live at the bottom of the sea. These creatures can either be sold to Nook’s Cranny or donated to the Museum.

Secondly, while searching for sea creatures, you might find yourself encountering Pascal, who will happily give you new DIY recipes in exchange for certain sea creatures.

Have fun swimming!

Tagged With

  • Animal Crossing (Switch)
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Simulation

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About the Author

Lottie Lynn is Eurogamer’s Guides Editor. She likes exploring new games and still has nightmares about the moon from Majora’s Mask.

How to Swim and Dive in ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’

Joshalynne Finch

Joshalynne Finch
Freelance Writer

Joshalynne is a freelance writer and lifelong learner who always loves studying new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else. Read more.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons has received a free update that allows players to swim and dive for sea creatures for the first time ever. As part of the first summer update, you’ll also get the chance to meet a new island character and unlock mermaid-themed DIY recipes.

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Update Your Game

Before you launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons on your Nintendo Switch, be sure you are connected to the internet to download the latest software update, Version 1.3.0. Without updating, you will not be able to access the new summer update content.

So as long as you’re connected to the internet before launching the game for the first time, the application launcher will automatically notify you that a new software update is available.

If you missed the automatic update notification, navigate to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons icon on your Nintendo Switch home screen and then open the “Options” menu by pressing the “+” button on your right Joy-Con controller.

Animal Crossing New Horizons nintendo switch home

You’ll see “Ver. 1.3.0” or higher in the top-left corner under the game name if you’re updated to the latest version. If not, select the “Software Update” tab and then choose the “Via The Internet” option to download the latest update to your Nintendo Switch.

Press the physical “A” button on your controller to submit any changes.

Where to Unlock Swimming and Diving

After you’ve updated the game, launch Animal Crossing: New Horizons and leave your house. Check your mailbox to receive a special letter from Nintendo that contains a Snorkel. The Nook Shop has also sent you a letter to notify you of new “Novelty” stock items—like the Wetsuit! A Striped Wetsuit can also be purchased from Timmy and Tommy for 3,000 Bells.

In order to begin your deep-diving adventure, you must first purchase a Wetsuit from Nook’s Cranny or the Nook Shopping kiosk. You can also purchase items on the Nook Shopping app.

If you prefer to purchase a different option, the Nook Inc. Snorkel can be redeemed for 500 Nook Miles Tickets, and the Nook Inc. Wetsuit can be redeemed for 800 Nook Miles Tickets. If you place an order for the Nook Inc. Novelty items, they will be mailed to you the very next day you sign-in to the game.

Timmy will give you a small tutorial on how to use your new Wetsuit—to swim around, rapidly press “A” on your joy-con controller, and if you see a shadow or bubbles in the water, press “Y” to dive and bring the item back up to the surface.

Swimming in Animal Crossing

After equipping the Snorkel and the Wetsuit, head to the beach and approach the water. Press “A” on your joy-con controller and your character will begin wading their way into the water.

To swim more rapidly, hold down your D-Pad controller (the left joy-con) and rapidly press “A” on the right joy-con. Simply holding down the “A” button won’t move your character.

Diving in Animal Crossing

While swimming, you can dive underwater and catch new sea creatures like sea stars, which can be donated to the museum. To dive, press “Y” on your joy-con controller to submerge your character under the water. You can dive anywhere in the water, but to find an item, look for a shadow and bubbles above the water, and then dive to collect it.

A second summer updating is coming in August of 2020, but Nintendo hasn’t revealed what the update will contain.

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Joshalynne Finch
Joshalynne is a freelance writer and lifelong learner who always loves studying new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else.
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